The PIEI ministry in Ukraine has started as an extension of the national ministry in Romania.
In the Southern part of the Ukraine, the region of Chernivtsi (Northern Bucovina territory) that was part of the country of Romania became part of the Soviet Union in the summer of 1939. The Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact that was signed on August 23rd, 1939 between the Soviet Union and Nazzi Germany caused the Northern Bucovina and Herta Romanian regions to become part of USSR; Ukraine, which was one of the founding republics of the Soviet Union became independent again after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. At that time the former Romanian territory remained part of Ukraine.
After the 2nd World War many Romanian people who lived in the Northern Bucovina Region (Chernivtsi) were displaced, many Russian and Ukrainian people moved in, creating a unique blend of all three nationalities to this day: Ukrainians, Russians, and Romanian, who have lived together for almost seventy years.
Soon after Ukraine became an independent country, PIE started to support national missionaries in the Southern part, the Chernivtsi region. With the helping hand of faithful partners in the U.S.A., there have been many churches planted and built, many people reached with the Gospel of Christ, and the majority of the national missionaries and their families are multilingual, fluently speaking the Ukrainian, Russian, and Romanian languages, enabling them to reach all the people - regardless of their language and nationality - for Christ, as well as training leaders to reach other parts of the country and the Russian speaking world.
The Stefs are Romanian nationals who live in the U.S. and started the PIE national ministry in Romania. They have crossed over the Northern Romanian border into Southern Ukraine, to primarily minister to the Romanian minority that lives in the Chernivtsi region.
Currently there are 13 national missionaries being supported by PIE in Ukraine.
The PIE national committee is lead by pastor Pavel Petihacinai, PIE national director in Ukraine. He is one of the pastors of the largest Romanian Baptist Church in the region. He, as well as the majority of our national missionaries, speaks Romanian, Ukrainian, and Russian.
Travel to the Ukraine from the U.S. has been one of the most encouraging ministry for the national missionaries. Several short term mission teams from Illinois and Michigan have traveled to Ukraine in the past 15 years and have assisted the national missionaries with evangelism, church planting, discipleship, building projects, Children and Youth Camps, as well as ministered to the missionaries and their families offering a special retreat for them in the summer of 2006.
Modeling to the nationals has enabled them to do ministry on their own very successfully.
Children and youth ministries are the top two avenues for outreach and evangelism. The summer camps have been very fruitful with many young people coming to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
If you're interested in receiving the PIEI Ukraine newsletter, or if you would like more specific information about this particular ministry, please contact:
Cornel Stef , Chairman for PIEI Ukraine